As B Corp Month draws to a close (Friday 31st March) this blog post reflects on the inspiring ways that B Corps “Go Beyond” business as usual, to create lasting impact on people and planet, and in particular how businesses and consumers can work together to keep this momentum going!
Oxfordshire B Corps go Beyond
With giving back and sustainability at the heart of Y.O.U underwear, we hosted our very own B Corp event at our flagship shop in Oxford’s Covered Market on Saturday 25th March, where we showcased some of our fellow B Corp buddies - from plastic-free cleaning products by Seep to delicious rum by Hattiers! We're so proud to be part of the certified B Corps movement and we're united in our mission to continue to have a positive social and environmental impact on the world.
The event really helped to further position Y.O.U Oxford as the go-to sustainability hub in the city, and we had some great interactions with our customers, our shop assistant Ellie, commented:
"It felt so great to spread awareness about B corps to the public as many had never heard of it before. Many asked about the difference between traditional businesses and b corp businesses and it was great to spread the message about how b corps are tackling the capitalist system. The atmosphere on Saturday was so positive and it was such a joy to see people get so enthusiastic about the shop and our mission when they learnt more about B Corp."
(Y.O.U Underwear Founder and CEO, Sarah Jordan with supporters in our Oxford shop).
We also ran a prize draw to win a hamper of B Corp goodies including local coffee, beauty products, snacks to eco-home essentials, that customers could win when they signed up to our Positive Pants Club newsletter. We’ll be announcing the lucky winner on Friday 31st March, the last day of B Corp Month.
There is also one final local event the B Corp community have squeezed in! On Thursday 30th March, 6pm – 8pm, the B Local Oxfordshire+ hub will host a celebration at Oxford Brookes Business school. It’s a great opportunity....
- To give existing B Corps the chance to share their experiences in Going Beyond the B - to network and encourage others to join the movement.
- To give potential B Corps - those who are B Curious - a chance to learn more about the B Corp Certification journey.
- To enable others who want to use business as a force for good a chance to hear more about how they can participate.
This event is another great example of people using business as a force for good and inspiring others to do the same.
B Corp is more than a mark, it’s a movement of business determined to make a mark on the world.
Globally, there are more than 6,000 B Corps spread across 84 countries, with over 1,000 in the UK. Hopefully lots of fellow business, locally, nationally and around the world, have all witnessed the huge impact of B Corp Month and how consumers want to support ethical and transparent companies. The B Corp certification continues to set a high bar for companies looking to reinvent how business is done. It challenges leaders to look at every aspect of their operations and evidence how they consider their manufacturing process, their supply chain, employees, customers and the environment, alongside making money….
B Lab UK’s Executive Director Chris Turner commented:
“Certification alone will not change the system. To quote this year’s B Corp Month campaign manifesto: B Corp is more than a mark, it’s a movement of business determined to make a mark on the world. To do this we need to change the behaviour, culture, and structural underpinnings of our economic system, to empower all companies to do better regardless of whether they’re pursuing certification. We won’t do this without including businesses who are able to operate at scale. And there are other businesses and founders missing from the movement too, so our growth must be inclusive and reach well beyond our current community”. Read more
Y.O.U Underwear’s B Corp Score is 160.5 and in 2022 we achieved Best for the World in two areas - Community and Environment.
Women and people of colour are leaders in purpose-driven business
As it stands, only 23% of B Corps are women-owned (compared to 33% of UK businesses overall), and only 1 in 13 B Corps are owned by a founder of colour. The B Corp Equitable Growth Advisory Group has been set up to combat this and build a community that is representative of UK society, ensuring certification is accessible for all businesses and entrepreneurs. Read more here. Practical support such as subsidised training programs and peer-to-peer mentoring will help hugely and as a female owned feminist business, Y.O.U Underwear are fully behind this ambition to get more women involved - roll on B Corp Month 2024!
Photo credit: Christina Morillo